[photo, 301 West Preston St., Baltimore, Maryland] The Department of Planning provides information and services that improve the ability of State and local governments to support growth that fosters vibrant, livable communities, preserves and protects the environment, and makes efficient use of State resources. With State and local government agencies as well as community development and environmental organizations, the Department works to ensure comprehensive and integrated planning for the best use of Maryland's land and other resources.

301 West Preston St., Baltimore, Maryland, October 2019. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

To local governments, the Department provides technical expertise, such as planning and urban design, computer application development, and technical studies. The Department also compiles Maryland data for use in planning, including congressional redistricting. Moreover, implementing State planning policies is the responsibility of the Department of Planning.


301 West Preston St., Baltimore, MD 21201 - 2365

The Secretary of Planning is appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent (Code State Finance & Procurement Article, secs. 5-201 through 5-204).

The Secretary serves on the Governor's Executive Council, and the Governor's Council on the Chesapeake Bay. The Secretary also chairs the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, the Maryland Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the Governor's Commission on Maryland Military Monuments, and serves as vice-chair of the Smart Growth Subcabinet. In addition, the Secretary serves on the Board of Trustees, Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation; the Governor's Intergovernmental Commission for Agriculture; the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board; the Bay Restoration Fund Advisory Committee; the Task Force on the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority; the 2020 Census Grant Program Panel; the Critical Area Commission for the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays; the Commission on Climate Change; the Coast Smart Council; the Complete Streets Program Regulations Work Group; the Interagency Disabilities Board; the Maryland Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council; the Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities; the Interagency Food Desert Advisory Committee; the Maryland Green Building Council; the State Coordinating Committee for Human Services Transportation; the Advisory Committee for the Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum; the Maryland Military Installation Council; the Council on Open Data; the Maryland Opportunity Zone Leadership Task Force; the Patuxent River Commission; the Rural Legacy Board; the Scenic and Wild Rivers Review Board; the Interagency Commission on School Construction; the Interdepartmental Advisory Committee on Small, Minority, and Women Business Affairs; the State Highway Access Valuation Board; and the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland.

Under the Department are three main divisions: Historical and Cultural Programs, Operations, and Planning Services (Code State Finance & Procurement Article, secs. 5-101 through 5-816).


[photo, Division of Historical and Cultural Programs, 100 Community Place, Crownsville, Maryland]


100 Community Place, Crownsville, MD 21032 - 2023

In 1985, the Division of Historical and Cultural Programs started as the Division of Cultural Affairs within the Department of Economic and Community Development. When the Department of Housing and Community Development formed in 1987, the Division transferred to the new department as the Division of Cultural Activities. In 1988, it was renamed the Division of Historical and Cultural Programs. Effective October 1, 2005, the Division transferred to the Department of Planning (Chapter 440, Acts of 2005).

Most Division programs fall under the Maryland Historical Trust, which oversees Operations Management, the Jefferson Patterson Historical Park and Museum, and three offices: Planning, Education, and Outreach; Preservation Services; and Research, Survey, and Registration. The Division also is responsible for the Maryland Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and staff support for the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.

100 Community Place, Crownsville, Maryland, July 2016. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


[photo, Division of Historical and Cultural Programs, 100 Community Place, Crownsville, Maryland] In 1961, the Maryland Historical Trust was formed by the General Assembly (Chapter 620, Acts of 1961). In 1970, the Trust became an agency of the Department of Economic and Community Development and in 1987 joined the Department of Housing and Community Development (Chapter 311, Acts of 1987). Within the Division of Historical and Cultural Programs, the Trust transferred to the Department of Planning in October 2005 (Chapter 440, Acts of 2005).

100 Community Place, Crownsville, Maryland, July 2016. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

The Trust preserves, protects, and enhances districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in the prehistory, history, upland and underwater archaeology, architecture, engineering, and culture of Maryland. It also encourages others in the field and promotes interest in and the study of such matters.

Properties of historic or architectural merit are acquired and maintained by the Trust through gift, grant, or purchase. Under an easement program, the Trust holds partial interest in such properties in order to monitor their condition and appearance without the necessity of public ownership.

Through State grants and a revolving-fund loan program, the Trust helps organizations, local governments, businesses, and individuals restore and acquire historic properties. Matching grants from the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior are made through the Trust. They support programs, such as historic resource identification (i.e., survey); evaluation (i.e., registration); preservation planning and education; and the Certified Local Government Program.

To local jurisdictions, the Trust makes grants for surveying Maryland historic sites. Results of these surveys are published. The most significant sites are eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places through the Trust. Properties listed on the National Register receive a degree of protection from federal and State licensed or funded projects that might adversely affect them.

Through its community education program, the Trust administers a local volunteer network, represented by advisory organizations (one in each county, in Baltimore City and Annapolis). These organizations, besides carrying out their own local preservation programs, assist the Trust by promoting its programs, grants, and loans; sponsoring Preservation Week activities; and advising on preservation needs and interests. The Trust sponsors an annual conference and regional workshops.

A library of archival and photographic material relating to Maryland archaeological and architectural history is maintained by the Trust.

Appointed by the Governor pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the State Historic Preservation Officer is a member of the Trust staff. Preservation activities as required by the federal government are carried out by the State Historic Preservation Officer in concert with the Trust (Code State Finance & Procurement Article, secs. 5A-301 through 5A-359).

The Trust works through Operations Management and three offices: Preservation Planning and Museum Programs; Preservation Services; and Research, Survey, and Registration. It also oversees the Jefferson Patterson Historical Park and Museum.

Under the Maryland Historical Trust, Operations Management is responsible for fiscal affairs, grants management, and information technology. Further, it oversees a number of functions formerly assigned to the Office of Archaelogy.

In 1996, the Office of Planning, Education, and Outreach originated as the Office of Planning and Educational Outreach under the Office of Management, Planning, and Educational Outreach. In 1997, it reorganized as Planning and Heritage Outreach, and in 2004, as Heritage Planning and Outreach. In October 2007, Heritage Planning and Outreach combined with the Office of Museum Services to form the Office of Preservation Planning and Museum Programs. In January 2015, the Office restructured under its present name.

The Office provides staff support to the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, and offers technical preservation assistance to local governments and the general public. It administers the Certified Local Government Program, and oversees the production and sale of Maryland Historical Trust Press publications. This unit also coordinates the Noncapital Historic Preservation Grant Program, tracks preservation-related State legislation, and prepares the annual Maryland Historic Preservation Awards program.

Under the Office are three main programs: Archeology Assistance Programs; Cultural Resources Hazard Mitigation Programs; and Maryland Heritage Areas Program.

In 1989, the Office of Preservation Services was established. Throughout Maryland, the Office protects and enhances historic, archaeological and cultural properties.

Office work is conducted by five units: Capital Grants and Loans, Historic Preservation Easement Program, Historic Preservation Incentives, Review and Compliance, and Underwater Archaelogy.

In 1989, the Office of Research, Survey, and Registration formed to direct the Division's historical, architectural and archaeological research.

The Office formerly was organized into five units: Architectural Research; Evaluation and Registration; Geographic Information Systems; Information Management and Library Services; and Survey and Research. Today, the Office is responsible for Architectural Research, Cultural Resource Information, and Evaluation and Registration.


The Operations Division began as Administration, and was renamed Operations in March 2010. In October 2015, Operations combined with Communications and Education to form the Operations Division.

Within the Department, the Operations Division provides essential functions, including accounting, management information services, and procurement and inventory.

The Division oversees Fiscal Services; Legislative Relations; and Management Information Services.


[photo, 301 West Preston St., Baltimore, Maryland]


301 West Preston St., Baltimore, MD 21201 - 2365

In October 2015, the Planning Services Division formed from a merger of Planning Data and Analysis, and Planning Services.

The Division oversees Planning Coordination, and Planning Data and Research.

301 West Preston St., Baltimore, Maryland, October 2019. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


Planning Coordination Section began as Planning Services, formed from State and Local Planning in March 2003. In October 2015, it reorganized as Planning Coordination and later under its current name. To Maryland counties and municipalities, it provides technical assistance, local program review, and planning design services.

Three units are administered by Planning Coordination Section: Infrastructure and Development; Local Assistance, Education, and Training; and Resource Conservation and Management.

Infrastructure and Development was first organized in March 2003 as Infrastructure Planning. It reformed as Infrastructure Policy in October 2011, and adopted its current name in October 2016.

Under the Planning Services Division, Infrastructure and Development provides research and technical assistance for transportation and public school construction planning statewide. Projections and modeling are used to anticipate Maryland's future needs and analyze current proposals.

Infrastructure Planning oversees: Public School Construction; Resource Conservation; and Transportation Planning.

Local Assistance, Education, and Training began as Local Planning Assistance and was renamed Local Assistance and Training in October 2015. It adopted its present name in October 2016.

This unit oversees three regional offices and provides staff support to the Appalachian Regional Commission.


[photo, Research Pier on Patuxent River, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Solomons, Maryland]

Research Pier on Patuxent River, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Solomons, Maryland, April 2019. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


Planning Data and Research originated as Planning Data Services, and organized as Data Planning Services in March 2010. It restructured as Planning Data and Analysis in October 2011. In a further reorganization of October 2015, Planning Data and Analysis reformed as Planning Data and Research under the Planning Services Division.

Socio-economic, cultural, geographic, parcel and land use information for planning purposes is collected, analyzed, and published by Planning Data and Research. This office provides a database for use by State and local government agencies, and the general public. For each county and Baltimore City, projections of population, housing, public school enrollment, employment, and income are prepared. They are used by State and local government agencies, as well as the private sector.

Statistical data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census and other information sources are maintained by Planning Data and Research. Such data relates to population, housing, employment, income, and education. A computerized system of the office also geographically references data on the physical and cultural attributes of the State.

Planning Data and Research helps maintain the State's 2,800 automated property maps and their linkage via x,y reference points to the two-million parcel database of the State Department of Assessments and Taxation. This information is accessible to government agencies and the public on CD-ROM as MdProperty View for use with off-the-shelf viewing software and standard personal computers. MdProperty View quickly retrieves map and attribute information on individual or multiple properties, including ownership, acreage, type, size, value, and improvements.

Under Planning Data and Research are three units: Geospatial and Data Analysis; Projections and State Data Center; and Property Mapping.

Geospatial and Data Analysis started as Land Use Analysis. Formerly under Data Planning Services, Land Use Analysis in May 2007 assumed some functions formerly assigned to Technical Planning Support. In October 2011, it transferred to Planning Services, and then later to Planning Data and Analysis (now Planning Data and Research).

Geospatial and Data Analysis is responsible for Geographic Information Systems.

Policy and Planning Research began as Legislative and Research Services and reformed as Policy and Planning Research under Communications and Education in 2011.

Planning Research Services formed under Communications (now Communications and Education) in 2007. It is the legislatively mandated depository for general, area and functional plans created by the State or local government (Code State Finance & Procurement Article, sec. 5-501). Research services are provided to the public, Department staff, and local governments. A library of planning-related literature and research materials also is maintained.

Projections and State Data Center originated in 1980 as the Research and State Data Center. In October 2015, functions of the Research and State Data Center merged with Demographic and Socioeconomic Projections to form Projection and State Data Center.

This office develops databases to assist in planning for the overall growth and development of the State. The Center provides information from decennial censuses and is concerned with historical and projected data on population, housing, employment, personal income, business establishments, parcels, and school enrollment. The Center works to improve access to and use of statistical data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and other federal and State sources.

Under Projections and State Data Center is Redistricting and Reapportionment.

The responsibility for preparing electronic property maps transferred from the State Department of Assessments and Taxation to the Office of Planning (now Department of Planning) in October 1996. Under Planning Data Services (now Planning Data & Research), the Property Mapping Section assumed this function in 1997.

Property Mapping updates property maps and prepares them for MdProperty View. From the Section, paper copies of property maps also are available to the public.

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